Centering on Aston the young adult, his love interest Jaed, and Arden the last and lost line to a powerful lineage, The Warden of Everfeld: Memento is a vibrant fantasy novel. Aston is nineteen years old and wants nothing more than to be a soldier like his father was before him, but has trouble being seen as anything more than a trainee. Jaed is Arden’s caretaker/adoptive big sister. All of them live in a place called the Refuge, called so because it consists of different clans of people whom sought shelter after various wars in the area. In Steven D’Adamo’s tale, Aston must decide allegiance between either his home the Refuge or his love Jaed and Arden.
This book is deeply layered and impressively self-accurate. Within the context of the story, is an in-depth look at this world’s history from creation to current times, but at no point in time does the information feel extraneous. Every bit of history and every bit of lore seem lend a hand to the creation of this story. Unfortunately, there is a coincidence for weaving such a layered tapestry. This history, although necessary, caused much of the first half of the novel to feel slow going. As someone who is, admittedly, a bit removed from the fantasy genre, I was a bit turned off initially by the pace. It took a realization to change how I felt about the pace. The Warden of Everfeld: Memento far removed from the lore of contemporary fantasy that it mandates a slower pace in order to acquaint the reader into his world.
The world building is so intimately done that even language is a consideration. By this, I don’t mean the realm of ConLangs (although there were some linguistic choices made for the cultures within the book), rather I’m talking of the author’s word choice. Rather than inundating the reader with a bunch of modernisms, the writer uses language that feels more appropriate to the story by sticking with older constructions. There is a downside to this approach though, and I think this book is a perfect example of it. Unless the writer infallibly perfect, any deviation will appear as a blaring sign. There weren’t many of these slips, but when they happened they pulled me out of the story.
Ultimately, The Warden of Everfeld: Memento is a story with unique and rich history with a story that will leave you captivated. It is a story that promises more and more as it unfolds and by the end of the book, you’re left wanting more. It is a well-controlled, carefully written ride that I would recommend to any fantasy buff and casual reader alike.